Was Hillary Clinton poisoned? World renowned forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu seems to think so.

Maybe it’s because we know with some degree of certainty that former KGB agent turned dictator Vladimir Putin has poisoned his adversaries in the past, or maybe t’s just because this election cycle has already been so incredibly insane that nothing would surprise me, but when Dr. Bennet Omalu, one of the world’s most renowned forensic pathologists, took to Twitter yesterday and suggested that Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned, I took it seriously… Here, if you haven’t seen it yet, is what Omalu, who was recently portrayed by Will Smith in the film Concussion, had to say on social media shortly after video surfaced of Clinton collapsing outside of a 9/11 memorial event.


When I first heard that video existed of Clinton staggering and being helped into a car, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Given all the lies that have been told about her health over the years, I knew how devastating something like this could be to her campaign, and I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to consider the very real possibility that a Clinton illness, no matter how trivial, could plant the seed in people’s minds that she was frail and weak… which, you can be sure, was exactly the intention of those on the right who first started these rumors.

It’s the Obama birth certificate all over again… As with that campaign, the end goal was never to prove that Obama was born in Kenya, as it couldn’t be done, seeing as how he was born in Hawaii. The objective was to cast Obama as an outsider, someone not like us, someone with different allegiances, someone that we couldn’t ever fully trust. And, in this case, I’d argue, it’s more of the same. The people on the right when they started this campaign didn’t expect to ever discover that Clinton has MS, AIDS or Parkinson’s, as have been suggested. They just wanted to plant the seed that she’s weak. They want to cast her as an “old woman” who wasn’t strong enough to defend our country. They wanted for us to think, every time she sneezes, that she at death’s door. They wanted for us to believe that, under pressure, she’d break… that she’d not be as strong and as virile as a man.

And, so, for all of these reasons, I didn’t intend to mention this most recent episode. I didn’t want to be just one more blog writer reinforcing a false narrative. And, plus, I knew that it was likely nothing. People faint and collapse all of the time. I’ve done it. Generals have done it. It doesn’t mean a goddamned thing… But then I saw this post from Dr. Omalu, the man credited with bringing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to the nation’s attention, despite the overwhelming forces aligned against him, and it got me thinking about Donald Trump’s multiple ties to the Putin regime, the fact that Putin is thought to have poisoned several of his rivals, and the news that we’re told will break tomorrow in Newsweek about alleged ties between Trump, foreign politicians and members of the international criminal underworld, and I began to wonder if there just might be something to Omalu’s observation.

So, as hesitant as I am to join the ranks of those floating different conspiracy theories concerning Hillary Clinton’s health, I can’t help but wonder if, just maybe, there’s something to what Omalu has said. Why is it, after all, so hard to accept they possibility that Putin, who has poisoned adversaries in the past, would do so again? When you consider how much he’d have to gain by placing a proxy in the White House, is it really that hard to accept as a possibility? Given the number of presidents that we’ve lost to assassination in this country, why is it so hard to believe that a candidate might be poisoned, especially when so much is on the line? I’m not saying that it definitively happened. No, I haven’t gone that far off the deep end yet. But, with that said, the more I think about it, the less insane it sounds.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    This happened in a season of 24. Poison transferred during a handshake.

  2. Meta
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The Newsweek article mentioned in the post is now available online. Here’s the section on Russia.

    The Trump Organization also has dealings in Russia and Ukraine, and officials with the company have repeatedly stated they want to develop projects there. The company is connected to a controversial Russian figure, Vladimir Potanin, a billionaire with interests in mining, metals, banking and real estate. He was a host of the Russian version of The Apprentice (called Candidate), and Trump, through the Trump Organization, served as the show’s executive producer. Potanin is deeply tied to the Russian government and obtained much of his wealth in the 1990s through what was called the loans-for-shares program, part of an effort by Moscow to privatize state properties through auction. Those sales were rigged: Insiders with political connections were the biggest beneficiaries.

    Hoping to start its branding business in Russia, the Trump Organization registered the Trump name in 2008 as a trademark for projects in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. It also launched negotiations with a development company called the Mos City Group, but no deal was reached. The former Trump executive said that talks fell apart over the fees the Trump Organization wanted to charge: 25 percent of the planned project’s cost. However, the executive said, the Trump Organization has maintained close relations with Pavel Fuks, head of the Mos City Group. Fuks is one of the most politically prominent oligarchs in Russia, with significant interests in real estate and the country’s financial industry, including the Pushkino bank and Sovcombank.

    The Trump Organization has also shown interest in Ukraine. In 2006, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump met with Viktor Tkachuk, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, and Andriy Zaika, head of the Ukrainian Construction Consortium. The potential financial conflicts here for a President Trump are enormous. Moreover, Trump’s primary partner for his lucrative business in Canada, a well-respected Russo-Canadian billionaire named Alex Shnaider, is also a major investor in Russia and Ukraine, meaning American policies benefiting those countries could enrich an important business connection for the Trump Organization.

    Meanwhile, Trump has raised concerns in the United States among national security experts for his consistent and effusive praise for Vladimir Putin, the Russian ruler who also now controls much of Ukraine. With its founder in the White House, the Trump Organization would have an extraordinary entrée into those countries. If the company sold its brand in Russia while Trump was in the White House, the world could be faced with the astonishing site of hotels and office complexes going up in downtown Moscow with the name of the American president emblazoned in gold atop the buildings.

    The dealings of the Trump Organization reach into so many countries that it is impossible to detail all the conflicts they present in a single issue of this magazine, but a Newsweek examination of the company has also found deep connections in China, Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany and other countries.

    Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.

    Read more:

  3. Lynne
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    There may be enough reason for Clinton to get herself tested but most likely, it is just run of the mill pneumonia. A lucky break for those trying to spin her health as a sign of weakness

  4. XXX
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Ask yourself one question. “If Putin were able to poison an adversary in order to put himself in a more advantageous position, would he?” The answer for me is clearly yes.

  5. Ted Lask
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Be careful. Putin also kills journalists. And I’m not kidding. He really does

  6. Deb
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t know, man.
    She has had aides propping her up and people curioisly identifying her weird movements as seizures for a while now.
    Also, it’s not just the right.
    Many of the 13 million Americans who voted for Bernie in the primaries take it pretty personally that her campaign had the nerve to question Bernie’s health and age and then set the candidate who scored lower against Trump as our only hope.

  7. Todd Spencer
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Putin has poisoned enemies in the past. He obviously is hacking Hillary and has close ties with Trump.

  8. Billy LaLonde
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I find it funny that I suggest Trump is a plant to help Clinton get elected, and I’m a tin foil hat wearing nut… but this is floated, and people are like, “whoa! This could be true!”…

  9. dude
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I would never vote for Trump. On the other hand, it’s still 50-50 that I’ll support Clinton when the time comes.
    It’s sad how the Democrats have decided to turn up the anti-Russia rhetoric.
    It’s sad because they’re doing so because their candidate is weak and frail — and not just physically.
    The only way Clinton was winning the White House was with Trump as a candidate. Check the summer primary polls. The only way Clinton wins this election is if it’s a referendum on Trump.
    Clinton is a very unpopular candidate. She’s a corporate Democrat — which is the worst kind of Democrat. Because the Democrats were supposed to be the populist party. They were supposed to be the party who fought for the little guy.
    You can’t fight for the little guy when you’re being wined and dine by Wall Street and Madison Avenue and Hollywood.

  10. M
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    If you’d asked me if it were possible that the Gore Bush decision would come down to the Supreme Court, I would have said it was highly unlikely. Since then, though, everything seems plausible. I mean, we had an administration that lied to take us to war in Iraq, and outed the CIA agent who pointed it out. And now we have Trump suggesting that “2nd amendment people” might want to kill his opponent. It’s just madness. I know politics has always been dirty business, but it just seems incredibly surreal these past several years. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe this is what happens with a planet cooks itself to death. Maybe this is what it looks like when cultures implode.

  11. RT
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Good questions, Mark Maynard. After all, most of the KGB’s history reads like a horror movie.

  12. Taco Farts
    Posted September 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    “I would never vote for Trump but am 50/50 on if I’ll vote Clinton.”

    We can vary a popular ethics problem to put some perspective on this statement.

    There is a train running down a track with a switch. On one track there are 200 million children who will get run over and die. On the other track there is a piece of paper with the words “my imaginary principles” written on it.

    You may choose not to switch the track at all, but if you do so, you are to blame for taking no action if the kids get made into jelly.

  13. Demetrius
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    @ Taco

    “There is a train running down a track with a switch. On one track there are 200 million children who will get run over and die. On the other track there is a piece of paper with the words “my imaginary principles” written on it.”


    I think – this time around in particular –  more and more people are feeling especially tired of feeling pressured to choose “the lesser of two evils.”

    Trump lied, blustered, and insulted his way into the Republican nomination … and Clinton (with the help of the DNC and DWS, etc.) effectively gamed the system to eliminate any serious competitors.

    Now we are left with two candidates that a majority of voters neither like nor respect … yet once again, some are suggesting that we MUST support one of them or … “200 million children will get run over and die.”

    Perhaps the real question is why our political system can not/does not produce major-party candidates that voters actually WANT to support … rather than ones we merely feel afraid NOT to vote for.

  14. Mike White
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I must advice.

  15. Lynne
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Re: the lesser of two evils

    I don’t really feel this way in that I like Clinton. All I can say is look back and ask yourself if the world is a better place after having Bush in office? Nader voters had a hand in that. And it didn’t help progressive causes at all. It didn’t help the Green Party. It didn’t advance anything on the left. Hundreds of thousands of people died. The best way to make sure progressive causes never see the light of day is to elect Trump and make no mistake, if you don’t get out and vote for Clinton, you are making it more likely that Trump will win and if he does, it will seriously set back the left.

    Our political system actually does produce major party candidates that voters WANT to support. A lot of people clearly want to vote for Trump and also clearly, a lot of people want to vote for Clinton. However the reason that it often seems like they can’t produce candidates that *everyone* wants to vote for is that we are a country of 300 million people and we have a political process where through the party system, the choices get winnowed down to two. And two candidates cannot possibly appeal 100% to that many people. Sometimes you just have to pick the one you like best even if they are not your first choice.

    The first choice had their chance in the primary season and if they lost, it is because they were the “lesser of two evils” to even more people than the winner. You get that right? Bernie Sanders would have been the lesser of two evils to a whole lot of people if he had won. The situation would not be different even if you personally were enthusiastic about him.

    So there are only two meaningful choices for president although of course many choices about who to vote for. But only Clinton and Trump really have a chance. Any vote outside of those two generally does the opposite of what is intended. I have been campaigning hard for Gary Johnson among conservatives not because I want him to win but because I know that every one of them I get to vote for him instead of Trump helps Clinton. The opposite is true too. When left wing people stay home or write in someone or vote for Jill Stein, all they do is hurt left wing causes. It *is* the figurative killing of the 200 million kids on the track (what kind of track is this that holds so many people and how fast is this train going and how heavy is it that it will kill them ALL? LOL)

  16. Taco Farts
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius, you and ‘more and more people’ may FEEL however you want. And please, god please, spend your entire life trying to change the system for the better. I imagine that very few Trump supporters or pragmatists would be against you doing so.

    But if you want to protest the system or pretend that you’re working to change it, do it in meaningful, not harmful ways (and don’t only do it once every four years – such behavior betrays a different motive).

    Because, right now, the train is coming. There are only two possible outcomes (barring poisoning or other completely unpredictable event). Mathematically, there are only two possible outcomes. That is a simple fact.

    And if that switch takes x+1 amount of force to operate and you’re the 1 left standing around not helping, you will be to blame for those children’s suffering, whatever form it takes.

    You seem to think my metaphor is… alarmist? I guess?, so piling another one on is probably foolish, but here is an example of how feelings and ethics can be at odds with each other.

    You are in the middle of a vast wasteland, with no veterinary care, motorized transport, or other way to get help. Your horse becomes injured. It may pain you greatly to shoot it, but thatt is the ethical choice.

    Also, what Lynne said.

  17. Taco Farts
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    lol, that should read “Clinton supporters or pragmatists…”

    busy day.

  18. iRobert
    Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    People who have never worked deep inside hard-ball politics couldn’t stomach how serious, complex, and disturbing the reality of it all really is. During the time of my involvement, I have been told many times by individuals who work at the highest levels of executive protection that there are always contracts out on presidential candidates. The only variables are the amounts, and the power and access of the interests which have funneled the money to those contracts.

    The Russians use their own agents for serious jobs, but have also been known to use third parties to finance a contract and in those cases actions are carried out by independent contract organizations (i.e. regional, local established criminal organizations, clandestine paramilitary groups, criminal gangs, etc.). It is very unlikely the Russians would risk making an attempt on an American presidential candidate directly, using their own agents. The risks are too high, and the outcome too unpredictable. However, they might send an intimidating message by causing a poisoning scare, rather than making an actual assassination attempt. It is the more likely scenario in light of Russia’s interests.

    However, if Clinton was poisoned, Russia would not be the most likely culprit behind it, based on a benefit analysis. Instead, the most likely would be a relatively isolated entity, of either business interests, a lesser foreign government, or a combination of both.

    There are, of course, other possibilities of much lesser likelihood, but there’s little point in discussing them at length.

    What seems most likely is that Hillary is simply pushing herself too hard, as highly ambitious people often do in situations they understand to be so critical. Every presidential candidate who has had a real race on their hands has worked themselves to the point of exhaustion in campaigning. This puts them perpetually on the brink of potential collapse.

    A truth that many people have difficulty accepting is that we actually can’t know for certain without access to all the evidence, and of course that will never be the case for us. We can, however, analyze these things logically and without allowing our fears and suspicions directing us. Then, and only then, can we get some estimation of the probabilities for certain scenarios.

    Most importantly, we should take our responsibilities as citizens of this country very seriously. We should vote, and do every other thing possible to understand, take action, and to make the best decisions ourselves, whether relating to politics or our personal lives.

  19. Meta
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile Trump was faking his health records.

    Washington Post: “Trump’s medical deceptions should be a scandal”

    “Trump disseminated false medical records to fool the public about his health.” That is a headline you have never seen, though you should have.

    If you’ve gotten tired of hearing how something President Trump did would have been a major or even career-ending scandal for any other candidate, I sympathize. But that fatigue is exactly the problem, because from the beginning of his run for president, Trump has been treated not just by different rules but by rules that indulge his most dangerous tendencies.

    Yet at the same time, we allow him to manipulate us into chasing false charges he makes against other people. And if we don’t realize how pernicious this is, we’re going to keep making the same mistakes, especially in 2020 when Trump will have a Democratic opponent to slander.

    As you may have heard by now, NBC News reported: “In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump’s longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump’s New York doctor without notice and took all the president’s medical records.”

    That “New York doctor” is Trump’s former physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, the source of the account. The “longtime personal bodyguard” is Keith Schiller, at the time a White House staffer.

    This appears to be a clear violation of the law. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) they would have had to present Bornstein with a special form in which Trump authorized them to receive copies of his records, which they didn’t. They certainly wouldn’t be allowed to rifle through a doctor’s records and seize the originals, which is how Bornstein described what happened, calling it a “raid.”

    Bornstein himself may have committed a HIPAA violation when he told the New York Times that he had prescribed a hair-growth drug for Trump. That article ran two days before Schiller’s visit to his office, suggesting the article (and Trump’s inevitable rage over it) is what prompted the visit.

    The White House insists this is no big deal. Spokesperson Sarah Sanders said: “It would be standard procedure for the newly elected president’s medical records to be in possession by the White House medical unit, and that was what was taking place — is those records were being transferred over to the White House medical unit as requested.”

    But that doesn’t seem true either. They could have just asked for a copy of Trump’s records to be sent over so he could be properly treated by the White House medical unit. Sending Trump’s bodyguard to New York to seize the originals is an entirely different matter.

    In addition, Bornstein now admits that when he wrote a letter in December 2015 attesting to Trump’s good health, he was actually taking dictation from Trump himself.

    Now here’s why this is important. At the time, everyone understood that was exactly what happened. The letter was not something any trained physician would write, and it was written in Trump’s distinctive sixth-grade braggadocio. It said “Mr. Trump has had a recent complete medical examination that showed only positive results,” that Trump’s blood work was “astonishingly excellent,” that “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary,” and finally, that “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” It could not have been more obvious that Trump was the actual author of the letter if it had been signed “Donald J. Trump, I mean Harold Bornstein.”

    If Hillary Clinton had done that we would have been apoplectic, and rightfully so. But at the time, everyone treated the whole thing almost as a joke. Trump should certainly be more forthcoming, reporters said, but here’s this wacky-looking doctor with long hair writing this absurd letter, isn’t that hilarious! Well yes, it was comical. But what a presidential candidate was hiding his medical situation from the public. And not any candidate, but the candidate who would become the oldest president ever elected, and who seems to eat nothing but fast food.

    Yet at the very same time, the press not only treated Hillary Clinton’s health as a matter of utmost seriousness, it was quick to accuse her of being overly secretive and dishonest about it.

    You may remember that in September of 2016, Clinton had a bout of pneumonia. At a September 11 memorial event on a hot day, she got lightheaded as she was headed toward her car, stumbling and being caught by aides. The reaction from the press was to treat it as an absolutely momentous event that not only raised profound questions about her fitness to be president but also showed how sneaky and deceitful she was for not announcing the illness to the press the moment it was diagnosed.

    Read more:

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted May 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Ah man, I missed so much when I didn’t post here for a while…

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